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Thread: Washing Machine possessed - not sure where to post.

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    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Washing Machine possessed - not sure where to post.

    (Moderator, please move this to the appropriate area, if needed)
    Hi,
    I have a billion year old Maytag LA511 washer that has now become possessed. It will start a complete wash cycle all on it's own. The water will fill - usually to the low level - agitate and spin. In other words, the timer switch seems to start on it's own. I now have a sign reminding everyone to leave the lid open after using. I'm planning on replacing the timer switch, but thought I'd check with any experts out there before jumping in.
    Thanks for any tips or ideas!
    -Bill

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You may find that labor to troubleshoot the electronics then buy the necessary parts, may not be a wise thing to do if the washer is as old as you indicate. I would suggest you ask the repairman to estimate what the repairs might run (it will have to be an educated guess without actually doing the work) The decide if the machine is worth fixing.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    When I had a top-loading washing machine leaving the lid open would only prevent the machine from going into the spin cycle. I would suggest that you simply turn off the water (always a good idea) and unplug the machine when you are not using it. Timers are rather expensive and it might be sending good money after bad to replace the timer. Eventually something else on the machine will fail and then the money you saved by not installing the new timer can be used towards a new machine.

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furd View Post
    Eventually something else on the machine will fail and then the money you saved by not installing the new timer can be used towards a new machine.
    Eventually, something on a brand new machine will fail too.............

  6. #6

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    You could send your laundry out,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0DlW2Hbyew

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Which one of those sirens were you, Cookie?

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    write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial digital cameras (aka machine vision) gdog's Avatar
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    Unfortunately unless you know enough to fix your own washing machine, it's seldom worth repairing. But, also unfortunately, the new ones just don't last like the old ones either.

    Bought a new washer/dryer (top load) at Sears a couple of years ago now. The sales guy (who was probably 22 yrs old) exclaimed "these machines are the top of this line, they're going to last you guys a really long time!" So the wife asks him, "So how long do you think?" Apparently surprised by the question, he blurts out, "Well, I'd say at least 5 yrs or so..."

    Thanks for the link Cookie; that's one of my favorite movies! Great soundtrack too.

  9. #9

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    Gary, the one with long brown hair.

    If that 22 year old salesman is like my son, he never even did a load of wash in his life! But at least the kid is out their trying to make a buck, got to give him credit but just don't rely on his expertise or knowledge of washers. For the last 4 years he just drug his laundry home in a duffel bag to mom...

    Come to think of it, it could had been worse, you could had been shopping at HD for a washer! They are 16 year old's there!
    Last edited by Cookie; 02-28-2009 at 05:25 AM.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    The timer for your unit is wpl part #205639. The retail is about $169. You may get it at some discount at a wholesale parts store. Maybe not!

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    You may find that labor to troubleshoot the electronics then buy the necessary parts, may not be a wise thing to do if the washer is as old as you indicate. I would suggest you ask the repairman to estimate what the repairs might run (it will have to be an educated guess without actually doing the work) The decide if the machine is worth fixing.
    I used to think like that.....but now, I give it a second thought. Since the messiah is planning to bail out half the world on my dime, I am being a little more frugal!. Just about bought a new OTR micro last weekend...nice one, $595 at Sears. Decided that JB weld would hold the handle on the old one until something else dies, or Sears has a bette sale!

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    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Priced at $103. at this placed pointed to through Amazon.

    http://store.appliancezone.com/servl...e-51657/Detail

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    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Gary, the one with long brown hair.

    If that 22 year old salesman is like my son, he never even did a load of wash in his life! But at least the kid is out their trying to make a buck, got to give him credit but just don't rely on his expertise or knowledge of washers. For the last 4 years he just drug his laundry home in a duffel bag to mom...
    So, why'd you keep doing it for him if you felt he should do it himself?

  14. #14

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    Ah, I was just making a joke.

    He is graduating in May and commutes to college so, he does laundry. and actually is quite a cook. He cooks for us and his girlfriend all the time. Here is a seafood plate he is making. He is a spectacular young man and his dad would be proud of him, he has been gone now 4 years. He is graduating the top of his class, with a double-degree and his certification in Education. And, he has worked as a dish-washer for all 4 years. He is a nice man just like his dad was and his brother is. Sorry for bragging,
    Last edited by Cookie; 03-22-2009 at 03:27 PM.

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    Thanks for all the replies... and then some!
    I did check on a timer, and yes, it looks to be about $150-$160. Actually, I think I already replaced it about 10 years ago, took maybe an hour. I did some checking with the Mrs. Turns out we bought the washer and dryer 1981. With as few problems as we've had (a couple gas solenoids for the dryer and this timer), I'm not all that interested in buying something new that could last "...at least 5 years"

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